Neither this website nor any other website can teach you all that you need to know to paddling safety. But, there are lots of great resources available to help you on you learn more. Below are a selection:
- The American Canoe Association has pamphlets, posters, videos and brochures on canoeing and kayaking safety, skills, ethics and related topics. See this page on the ACA website.
- Keep it Safe…Keep it Fun, by Chuck Horbert, (PDF) provides an overview of some of the keys to safe paddling on lakes and quiet rivers. (Originally published in Trail Mix: The Newsletter of Rhode Island Greenways).
- Whitewater paddlers should know and follow the safety code of the American Whitewater Association.
- An article on the differences between sea kayaking and fresh water paddling, originally published in the Blueways News in August, 2013.
- An overview of the differences between sea kayaking and fresh water paddling (PDF), as well as links to various additional resources.
- This article by Jim Cole (PDF) addresses the dangers of using inflatable life jackets while canoeing or kayaking.
- See the links page for links to websites for weather and tide information essential to safe paddling. The links page also has links to various businesses and organizations in the area who offer classes and guided trips. Going on a guided trip with an experienced leader is a great way to learn more about paddling safely.
Finally, please remember the following tips:
- Respect private property adjacent to public waterways.
- Dispose of all trash properly.
- Observe safe paddling techniques and carry necessary safety gear for each outing.
- Leave a "float plan" with family or friends. This float plan form (in PDF format) was created by Sea Kayaker Magazine, which kindly gave us permission to post it here.
- Be aware of current and future weather and water conditions.
- Know your paddling abilities and plan your outings accordingly.
- AND ALWAYS WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET. Wearing a life jacket is a sign of an experienced paddler.